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Hubble Ultra-Deep Field region observed through the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer. Image: ESO / MUSE HUDF collaboration

Astronomers working with the Very Large Telescope in Chile have surveyed a patch of the sky and detected 72 new galaxies never seen before.

What's new: Beginning in 2004, the Hubble Space Telescope delivered detailed pictures of a patch of sky that now bears its name — the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field is a view nearly 13 billion years back into the early universe. Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument, researchers again looked at this well-studied region and found 72 new galaxies and collected more information about 1,600 of the estimated 10,000 galaxies there. (The existence of the new galaxies needs to be confirmed, possibly by the James Webb Space Telescope when it launches next year.)

How they did it: MUSE measures the amount of different colors of light in every pixel of an image, allowing it to detect properties of galaxies not seen before. Two findings from 10 papers published today in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics:

  • The 72 candidate galaxies emit only one color of light called Lyman-alpha. It's unclear how these galaxies form but studying them will help to better understand how they created stars in the early universe.
  • They also observed halos of hydrogen gas around some of the galaxies that may help to explain how the ingredients for galaxies come together.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 mins ago - Axios on HBO

GOP senator smacks Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told “Axios on HBO” he’s not sure former President Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination if he ran in 2024 — a rare voice of criticism from within the party.

  • When I raised the conventional wisdom that Trump would be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in.“
  • I don't know that,” the senator said during our interview in Chalmette, La.
13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress begins yearend sprint

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House and Senate face an onslaught of deadlines key to fulfilling members' campaign promises and keeping the government afloat as they return from recess this week.

Why it matters: The next few weeks will be pivotal to enacting President Biden's agenda — and determining how the Democratic Party fares in the midterm elections.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.